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Calgarians raise nearly $1M to help fight poverty

Over 4,000 people packed Prince's Island Park in Calgary for the World Partnership Walk on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Over 4,000 people packed Prince's Island Park in Calgary for the World Partnership Walk on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Carolyn Kury de Castillo, Global News

Over 4,000 people packed Prince’s Island Park in Calgary for the World Partnership Walk on Sunday.

The annual event raises money to alleviate world poverty through the Agha Khan Foundation.

Despite the uncertain economic times, organizers say the event is still on target to raise $1 million in Calgary.

“Calgary has had some of the most amazing people and Alberta as a province has been struggling over the last little bit. But the support that we get in Calgary has been fantastic,” said Jan Jaffer, marketing director for the World Partnership Walk in Calgary.

There are 10 cities in Canada that take part every year and raise up to $8 million per year that goes towards projects in Africa and Asia.

“Recently there was a hospital that was opened up in northern Afghanistan which services 500,000 people. It is the same level as what you would expect in our new hospitals in Alberta,” said Jaffer.

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Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is a regular participant at the event. He says because of events like this, great strides are being made in the fight against poverty.

“What I love the most about the World Partnership Walk is that it’s for people we will never meet. It’s a walk against global poverty. We are actually winning the fight against global poverty. In the last 30 years, one billion people in the world have been lifted out of poverty and the child mortality rate has gone down by half,” Nenshi said.

“It takes events like the people in Canada where we have clean water and sanitation, to be able to spread those blessings around the world.”

The World Partnership Walk started 33 years ago in Vancouver and has raised over $100 million in cities across Canada.